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Marketmind: Minutes come, minutes go

Marketmind: Minutes come, minutes go
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A look at the day ahead in European and global markets from Ankur Banerjee

The eagerly-anticipated Fed minutes arrived and failed to surprise, with markets broadly shrugging off the hawkish tone and still pining for a rate cut sometime this year.

Asian shares continue their bright start to the year with investors pinning their hopes on a swift rebound of the world’s second-biggest economy after China dismantled much of its stringent COVID-related curbs. Now, how fast that recovery will be is something that remains to be seen, especially with rising infections taking a toll.

China’s services activity shrank last month as surging COVID infections hit demand, a private-sector survey showed on Thursday, underscoring the challenges facing the country. While the road to recovery is likely to be a long and winding one, the optimism around the reopening has boosted sentiment, with business confidence at a 17-month high.

And so MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan is hovering at a four-month high and set for a fourth straight day of gains, while the U.S. dollar tries to find its footing after a volatile first four days of the year.

Market focus will switch to Friday’s U.S. payrolls data but before that a clutch of European data could provide more clues as to where inflation is headed in Europe. French inflation, which unexpectedly dropped below 7%, added to the hope that the worst of the cost-of-living crisis in Europe is over.

Over in the corporate world, the tech industry’s layoffs, which amounted to more than 150,000 workers in 2022, don’t seem to end. Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) Inc says it plans to eliminate about 10% of staff, while Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) will cut more than 18,000 jobs.

Key developments that could influence markets on Thursday:

Economic events: Eurozone producer prices for November, December S&P PMI data for Eurozone, Germany and France

Source: Investing.com

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